In recent years, Netflix single-handedly managed to change the television landscape. We're talking about a streaming company that has achieved as many as 139 million paying subscribers, as of 2018.
Meanwhile, according to the company’s second-quarter 2019 earnings Letter to Shareholders, Netflix recently enjoyed revenue growth of 26 percent while its operating income increased by 53 percent year over year. Moreover, it is also experienced a 24 percent increase in average streaming paid memberships. And even with the likes of Apple, WarnerMedia, NBCU, Disney, BBC, Hotstar, YouTube, Amazon and Hulu also providing streaming entertainment, Netflix believes in staying ad-free. In fact, the company explained, “We believe we will have a more valuable business in the long term by staying out of competing for ad revenue and instead entirely focusing on competing for viewer satisfaction.”
Aside from staying ahead of the competition, Netflix has also been in the business of starting and sustaining an actor's careers in recent years. In fact, let's take a look at 20 actors who now pretty much owe their livelihood to Netflix.
20 Finn Wolfhard
Finn Wolfhard is a young actor who gained a lot of recognition after portraying the character of Mike Wheeler in the Netflix television series “Stranger Things.” Since then, the young Canada native has been cast to play young Richie Tozier in the movie “It: Chapter Two.” Moreover, he also serves as the voice behind Player in season two of Netflix’s “Carmen Sandiego.”
19 Ali Wong
Actress and stand-up comedian Ali Wong has quite a bubbly personality. But let’s face it. We wouldn’t really know about her if it weren’t for Netflix, even if she’s already appeared on ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat.” This is exactly why she was happy that her documentary “Baby Cobra” aired on Netflix. During an interview with Uproxx, Wong explained, “I wanted a lot of people to watch it, and Netflix has the most eyes. It’s so frustrating when new comedy hours premiere on channels.”
18 Millie Bobby Brown
Millie Bobby Brown is an English actress who rose to fame after starring as Eleven in the Netflix series “Stranger Things.” Since then, Brown secured a role in the movie “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.” Meanwhile, according to the IMDb database, Brown’s upcoming projects include “Godzilla vs. Kong,” “Enola Holmes” and “The Thing About Jellyfish.”
17 Uzo Aduba
Uzo Aduba is an American actress who gained recognition after she was cast to play Suzanne 'Crazy Eyes' Warren in the hit Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black.” In fact, Aduba has achieved three Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nominations for this role. And more importantly, she has won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series twice.
16 Claire Foy
For quite some time, British actress Claire Foy was already enjoying a successful career in the U.K. However, when she was cast as Queen Elizabeth for Netflix’s “The Crown,” Foy achieved prominence in Hollywood. In fact, she has since starred in “Unsane,” “First Man” and “The Girl in the Spider’s Web.”
15 Katherine Langford
Before starring in Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why,” actress Katherine Langford was a relatively unknown actress. Even better, her role as Hannah Baker also earned her a Golden Globes and People’s Choice Awards nominations. Since then, the Australian star has been cast in movies like “The Misguided,” “Love, Simon” and “Knives Out.” Moreover, she also stars in the tv series “Cursed.”
14 Laverne Cox
Laverne Cox is an LGBTQ+ advocate who rose to fame after portraying the role of Sophia Burset on the hit Netflix television series “Orange Is the New Black.” Since then, the three-time Emmy-nominated actress has gone on to star in “Doubt,” “The Mindy Project,” “Dear White People” and “A Black Lady Sketch Show.” Moreover, Cox has also appeared as herself in an episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
13 Ruby Rose
Ruby Rose is an Australian model and actress who rose to fame after portraying the role of Stella Carlin in “Orange Is the New Black.” Since then, Rose has been cast in several hit films. These include “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter,” “XXX: Return of Xander Cage,” “John Wick: Chapter 2,” Pitch Perfect 3” and “The Meg.” Meanwhile, Rose has also been portraying the role of Batwoman/ Kate Kane in the CW shows “Arrow,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” “The Flash,” and “Supergirl.”
12 June Diane Raphael
June Diane Raphael is a comedian who is widely known for her leading role in the Netflix Originals tv series “Grace and Frankie.” Since taking the role, Raphael has appeared in several other tv series, including “The League,” “The Muppets,” “Fresh Off the Boat,” “Splitting Up Together,” “Veep” and more. Moreover, Raphael has also provided voice talent to the television series “American Dad!” and “Big Mouth.”
11 Brit Marling
Brit Marling is the creator and star behind the Netflix television series “The OA.” Unfortunately, the online streaming company has decided to cancel the series recently. In response, Marling took to Instagram with a lengthy post that partly said, “While we cannot finish this story, I can imagine you we will tell others. I haven’t figured out any other effective coping mechanism for being alive in the anthropocene. And maybe, in some ways, it’s okay not to conclude these characters.”
10 Lena Waithe
Lena Waithe rose to fame after co-writing and starring in the Netflix series “Master of None.” Since then, Waithe has appeared in various television series such as “This Is Us,” “Dear White People” and “A Black Lady Sketch Show.” Moreover, she also starred Aech/ Helen in Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One.”
9 Deborah Ann Woll
After Deborah Ann Woll played a vampire for several seasons in the HBO drama series “True Blood,” she went on to play the famous role of Karen Page in several Netflix shows. These include “Daredevil,” “Defenders,” and “The Punisher.” Since then, she’s also starred in the movies “Silver Lake,” and “Escape Room.”
8 Daryl Hannah
Several years ago, Daryl Hannah enjoyed quite an established career, thanks to films like “Splash,” “Steel Magnolias,” “Blade Runner” and many others. At some point, however, Hannah went on to do some rather lackluster projects such as tv movies “Zombie Night,” and “Social Nightmare.” Fortunately for her, she was cast as Angelica Turning in the Netflix Series “Sense8” and just like that, she has become more recognizable face again in the industry.
7 Corey Stoll
Sure, actor Corey Stoll had a career long before he started working with Netflix. However, we dare say that it was essentially his role on Netflix’s “House of Cards” that put him on the map. In fact, he ended up getting roles in films like “Ant-Man,” “The Good Lie,” “This Is Where I Leave You,” “Anesthesia,” “First Man,” “The Seagull” and more.
6 Jon Hamm
After starring in “Mad Men,” Jon Hamm’s career went in various directions. Sure, he’s done some notable films, including “Baby Driver” and “Keeping Up with the Joneses.” However, Hamm seems to be having a hard time impressing everyone. Fortunately, Netflix has been quite supportive of his career over the years. In fact, Hamm has had roles in “Black Mirror,” “West Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp” and of course, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”
5 Jodie Sweetin
Back in the 80s, actress Jodie Sweetin rose to fame after starring as Stephanie Tanner in the tv series “Full House.” Following this, Sweetin went on to appear in a number of television series and tv movies. However, she was essentially forgettable. Fortunately, Netflix decided to come out with “Fuller House,” which allowed Sweetin to reprise her hit role.
4 Rosario Dawson
There was a time when it seemed that actress Rosario Dawson was virtually unstoppable. After all, she was starring in hit films such as “Men in Black II,” “Rent,” “Sin City” and “Seven Pounds.” But then, for some reason, Dawson became largely forgotten. That is until she took on the role of Claire Temple in Netflix’s “Daredevil,” “Iron Fist,” “Luke Cage,” and “The Defenders.” Since then, she’s starred in “Jane the Virgin” and has also provided voice talent for “The Lego Batman Movie.”
3 Will Arnett
While he has played a number of roles over the years, Will Arnett is still best known for his portrayal of Gob Bluth in the tv series “Arrested Development.” And when Fox decided to cancel the hit show, Netflix came to its rescue. Aside from this, Arnett also went on to star in various Netflix projects, including “Flaked” and “BoJack Horseman.”
2 Adam Sandler
To be clear, Adam Sandler is a great actor and he has always had a strong following. After all, he has starred in hit films such as “Billy Madison,” “Punch Drunk Love,” “Funny People,” “Big Daddy,” “Mr. Deeds” and many more. In recent years, however, Sandler has suffered some serious box office flops. Nonetheless, Netflix has banked big time on Sandler, giving him starring roles in films such as “The Do-Over,” “Sandy Wexler,” “The Ridiculous 6,” “The Week Of,” and “Murder Mystery.”
1 Winona Ryder
At one point, it looked like actress Winona Ryder had everything going for her. She was starring in critically acclaimed films such as “Little Women,” “How to Make an American Quilt,” “Boys,” “Girl, Interrupted,” “Autumn in New York” and many others. But then, she was caught shoplifting. After that, Hollywood didn’t think she deserved to portray any more mainstream roles. Moreover, Ryder reportedly took a self-imposed break from acting. And fortunately, when she was looking to revive her career, Netflix decided to cast her on “Stranger Things.”
Reference: Netflix, Instagram, IMDb